green chicken tamale recipe

Green tomatillo chicken tamales

By far the best chicken tamale recipe you will ever try! easy and delicious and full of flavor
Course dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chicken tamale, tamale
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 9 hours
marinade 3 hours
Total Time 12 hours 50 minutes
Servings 50 tamales
Calories 45kcal
Author Ashlee Marie


Green Chicken filling

  • 1 1/2 lbs tomatillos
  • 4 cayenne peppers or 4 dried red chili peppers for less heat
  • 4 cloves garlic lightly smashed and peeled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 4 Chicken breasts

Tamale dough - you''ll probably need a few batches


Green Chicken filling

  • Cook the chicken and then shred it. I like to cover mine with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake my chicken breasts about 30 mins. But however you like to cook it is fine.
  • Peel the tomatillo's and slice them in half horizontally
  • de-stem and de-seed the chilies - I like the fresh red chili peppers, my brother in law likes the dried red peppers - I've also used jalapeno's, go with whatever pepper you like best
  • place the tomatillos cut side down with the peppers on a baking sheet. spray lightly with some oil.
  • broil in the oven 8 mins on the first side until the skin is blistering, then flip and broil another 5 mins.
  • place the tomatillos, chilies, garlic, salt and cilantro in a blender or food processor and puree.
  • mix the sauce and chicken in a large bowl. - your ready to fill your tamales


  • soak the corn husks in water until soft
  • whisk the Maseca, baking powder and salt together
  • add the broth and combine
  • in a separate bowl beat the lard until fluffy
  • add add most of the beaten lard to the maseca mixture and combine with your hands - mix until the texture feels right - this might take a little playing - add more lard as needed
  • keep a damp paper towel over the dough your not using to keep it from drying out
  • roll a ball about 1 1/2 inches wide, flatten it (I use a tortilla press with a plastic bag)  - if the texture is right the flattened circle won't break or crack, if it does add more whipped lard
  • dry a corn husk, and place the flattened circle in the corn husk
  • fill with a few Tablespoons of filling and fold one side, then the other over the filling, then fold up the bottom and press closed.  I recommend using the corn husk vs your hands - try not to touch the filling.
  • wrap the corn husk around and fold up the bottom and use the husk to fold and press the top dough down, seal.


  • stack the wrapped tamales chimney style in a large steamer
  • add a damp towel over the top and steam for 1 hour - text to see if they are done - they might need to steam for an extra 30 mins. 
  • Serve with Beans! I also like to top with my creamy jalapeno dip.
  • you can freeze extras before or after steaming



Calories: 45kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 113mg | Potassium: 144mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg